Tuesday, October 04, 2005

White Sox – 1 down, 10 to go…

What a sweet, sweet way to start the series! One monkey, not having won a home playoff game since 1959, is now off their back. A second monkey, never having won a playoff game at US Cellular field, is now also off their back.

This game showed the White Sox of the first half of the season. Solid pitching, solid defense and clutch hitting. Of course in today's case, the clutch hitting was all homers, all the time… Contreras was again simply magnificent on the mound. The Red Sox have a helluva lineup, but he just shut them down. The White Sox defense, outside of a goofy play by Crede when he kicked that ball, was pretty solid. And Posednik hitting a home run? Just the icing on the cake.

The critical play of the game was in the 4th inning. The Red Sox already had two runs in and were trailing only 6-2. The White Sox had committed an error in that inning and Contreras had thrown a wild pitch – both miscues figuring in the scoring. Kevin Millar was sitting on 2nd, having just doubled in a run. Former AL Batting Champ Bill Mueller was coming to bat. And there were no outs. It could really have unraveled here. A long ball and it’s a 2 run game. Mueller hits a sharp ground ball to Iguchi. But instead of Iguchi throwing to first, with the runner taking third, Iguchi throws to third and Crede tags out the runner trying to advance. Now you have 1 out and a man on first, not 1 out and a man on 3rd. It’s a lot easier to score that guy from third; a fly ball, a ground ball to the right side, a wild pitch, all could have scored him. The replay showed that Iguchi checked to make sure that Crede was ready to take the throw before he threw it. This play really seemed to stop Boston’s momentum as the next batter grounded into a force play and Damon struck out to end the inning. Iguchi has been stepping up in the clutch, with his bat and his glove, all season long. That play he made in the 4th was the key one, IMHO.

I wrote in my previous posting that I like the White Sox chances in this series. I like them even more, now. As an aside, I hope they pound the crap out of David Wells tomorrow. I think he gave the White Sox less than 100% when he was a starter here, and I’d love to see some payback for that. But I’ll take a 1-0 win, on a wild pitch, off a reliever in the 9th inning, too.

I know, I know. It could turn around tomorrow and the Red Sox could sweep the next three games. But I don’t think that’s going to happen.

Go Sox!

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